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Representation of Women and Ethnic Minorities in the Russian State Duma 1993-2021

In: Russian Politics
Authors:
Robert G. Moser Department of Government, University of Texas at Austin Austin, TX USA
Department of Political Science, History and Regional Studies, Irkutsk State University Irkutsk Russia

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Mikhail Rybalko Department of Government, University of Texas at Austin Austin, TX USA
Department of Political Science, History and Regional Studies, Irkutsk State University Irkutsk Russia

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Abstract

Elections to the Russian State Duma provide a unique context to study the representation of women and ethnic minorities in a national legislature. Russian elections have witnessed dramatic institutional variation, including a shift from semi-democratic contestation to competitive authoritarianism and the use of different electoral systems. Moreover, ethnic federalism has produced political and demographic conditions that promote the representation of titular ethnic groups in ethnic republics. Finally, the transition from a fragmented party system to one controlled by a single dominant party potentially has important potential ramifications for women and minority representation. We use a unique dataset that codes the ethnicity and sex of individual legislators for each election from 1993 to 2021 to examine how regime type, electoral rules, demographic conditions, and party affiliation have affected descriptive representation in Russia. Using similar data on selected states from Eastern Europe, we compare Russia’s experience with that of other postcommunist states as well as the United States.

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